Your Annual Physical Exam: A More Comprehensive Approach – 73


Every year you get happy to go see your doctor for your yearly exam. It’s the one insurance pays for. It’s the one your company pays for and that’s all well and good, and I don’t ever want to see you not do that, but we have to get a little more well-refined about what you’re getting every year in your physical exam–and more importantly what you’re not getting. You’ve got to understand that your annual exam–all the blood tests and the physical tests they do, the hematology panels, the chemistry panels and anything that they do for you–is designed for an acute situation. It’s not preventative. Those tests don’t give you any assurance that you’re not going to fall into chronic illness. So today we’re going to create your own special physical exam of the fundamentals–something that will let you know how you’re doing before you get sick.

I just can’t get off the importance of emphasizing the fundamentals. So if you ask me what to do about a thyroid gland or what to do about low back pain–I’m going to refer you to the fundamentals because in my clinical experience, if I try to use an herb to help somebody for a symptom, if I try to use an herb to help somebody’s body address their illness–and I don’t have the fundamentals working for me–then I’m working against the herb, the nutraceutical. That’s big. You have to hear this because it’s big and it’s not how you think…  Human nature says “my pain is in my toe, give me an herb to help my toe.” You have to help the herb help your toe. You have to help the herb help your back pain. You have to help the herb help your thyroid and in my experience, which is very vested in plant medicine, in herbal medicine, you have to have the fundamentals working for you.

So here’s the first of many fundamental questions on our physical exam: Does the patient have postural integrity? Does the patient have anterior head carriage? If we looked at you from the side when you were 15 years old, we would see a straight line from your upper shoulder blade area straight to the top of your head–your neck would not come forward.  But if we look at you from that side view at 40 or 50, we start to see the head move more and more forward. That’s dangerous.

Any of the neuro-degenerative diseases to the brain, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, any of these viruses like Kuru, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; just good-old memory problems, senility.  Any of it will link in a serious way to anterior head carriage. Why? Because once the head moves forward it disconnects from the rest of the body. The high intelligence of the hypothalamus gland can no longer function with freedom, only with static and interference. If you want to talk about an interference field, the granddaddy of them all is when the head–through the hypothalamus–can no longer see the rest of the body because the head has shifted so far forward on the neck that the vagus nerve which courses through the back of the neck gets compressed.

These are very, very, very real phenomenon. I didn’t discover these, and I’m not exaggerating them in their significance. In fact, the entire fields of chiropractic, of osteopathy, of craniosacral, of so many different holistic models– all understand this fundamental connection.

So I’m going to repeat this forever because many people, they still don’t get it. And that’s human nature and it’s understandable. But you have to understand then whatever your concern is, whether it’s depression, memory, digestion—one of the basics is postural integrity.  Anterior head carriage will compress the dural tissue around your spinal cord. With anterior head carriage, the hole that the spinal cord comes through, the foramen magnum. As that head shifts forward, and that’s almost everybody- you begin to interfere with nerve flow. So you’re talking about the interference field of all time.

And that little hunch, kyphosis, compresses respiration. You lock your diaphragm as you develop kyphosis.  And breath is everything, but you won’t potentiate the breath as you develop a kyphosis. It collapses the diaphragm.  And down low, below the belly button to the upper thighs–we’re looking at the slope of the low back. That’s your lordosis–and you may have a hyper lordosis, an excessive sway back. Or you may have a rigid straight back. You may have an excessive curve, or you may be rigid and straight.

Whether you have a rigid, straight back or a sway back, you’re going to have an incompetent psoas muscle. Meaning, a muscle deep in your abdominal cavity will move forward and crush your organs. The imbalance in your structure will crush your organs, just like the kyphosis will crush your diaphragm. Just like anterior head carriage will crush your vagus nerve…  Crush them so that you have to charge to the hospital and ER? No–crush them subclinically, asymptomatically…a stealth crushing.

Postural imbalances function as stresses, significant stresses to the body. Now add that to sleep. Add that to oxygen deficiency with anemia. Add that to vitamin D deficiency. These are basics. Add them up and isn’t it a miracle that not everyone is sick?

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